Brocade on SDN at Network Field Day: I was honored with participating in Network Field Day #4 which had loads of top notch presenters from the biggest names in Networking and IT in the industry today. Each of those organizations have people who believe in the value in open public dialogue with the consumers. This is becoming ever more important as we transition into a truly consumer driven market thanks to hyper scale providers that can bend vendors to their will on sheer volume. I was doing the reviews sequentially but Brocade had some news around SDN so I bumped them up a couple days.
- Hyperedge Mex and Match- Stacking different flavors of switches into stacks to provide investment protection and right sizing equipment. While not as sexy as some topics it is what is real and keeps the lights on today’s edge. Jessica Koh did a great job in front of the daunting Field Day crew.
- Brocade VCS Fabric overview- There is a great deep dive on this from a recent Tech Field Day symposium here.
- Up Next was an OpenStack demo by Jeff Rametta that had their integration via the Quantum plugin into the top of rack switch. Having done a handful of OpenStack demos myself, that can be a challenge especially with a plugin that is freshly rolled for Quantum integration. I salute Jeff for having a flawless demo.
- Last but not least was the magic. SDN.
Brocade On SDN
I will preface this with I am certainly an advocate of disruptive yet coherant technologies in computing. It creates competition and better value to the consumer. I am also a big fan of the potential that dis-aggregating the monolithic yet wholly distributed networks through proper layering and abstraction. The reliance on networks performance and availability today and in the future is too important to ignore one more day.
The first presentation regarding SDN was from Curt Beckmann who is not a sales monkey, but an engineer/architect. Curt is the elected chair of the Forwarding Abstraction Working Group who has likely forgotten more then I know. But even more interesting is he was a hell of a nice guy with zero ego. Those are the people that can build the relationships and get things done instead of needing to be the smartest guy in the room.
@etherrealmind Greg Ferro compared the latest shuffle of David Myer to Brocade from Cisco as Ice Curling lol. I was born and raised in Kentucky and Sunnyvale is infinitely more inbreed. See Greg’s post here.
Lisa Caywood @TheRealLisaC (Lisa is a pro) in a chat on Twitter today said to @mestery Kyle Mestery (Kyle’s blog is good btw) with regard to the Myer pickup “We’re serious over here. =)”. That Brocade is without a doubt.
I could sit here and paraphrase everything I heard, but I recommend watching the videos for as pure a look at SDN as any one vendor out there. The spent half their time talking about open initiatives, that said interesting things also.
Video 1. Open Networking Foundation (ONF) update from Curt Beckmann chairman of the FAWG working group. If you only watch one that is it. They are all quite good though.
Video 2. Software-Defined Networking at Brocade (Part I) by Keith Stewart and Martin McNealis
Video 3. Software-Defined Networking at Brocade (Part II) by Keith Stewart and Martin McNealis
Check out the rest of the videos at the Tech Field Day site here along with all of the rest of the vendors content.
Be sure to read reaction and analysis from my other NFD friends:
- Tome Hollingsworth Brocade – Packet Spraying and SDN Integrating
- Greg Ferro Brocade’s Data Centre Ethernet Strategy
- Paul Stewart Networking Field Day 4, Final Thoughts
- Michael McNamara Brocade NFD4
Thanks for stopping by! It will be fun to see Brocade push the pack with regard to SDN along with low cost 100Gb links on the MLX.